WEST LIBERTY, WV, Oct. 19, 2015 — The Hughes Lecture Series welcomes musician and poet Doug Van Gundy in a performance at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 21. The event will be held in the Alumni Room of the College Union and is free and open to the public.
“We are pleased to bring such a talented poet, musician and professor to campus and invite everyone to join us for his rousing performance,” said English professor, Dr. Peter Staffel, who is also the chairman of the Hughes Lecture Series.
Van Gundy will also perform at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 22 at the Wheeling Artisan Center, 1400 Main St.
Van Gundy teaches in both the BA and MFA writing programs at West Virginia Wesleyan College. His poems, essays and reviews have appeared in The Oxford American, Poems & Plays, Ecotone, Appalachian Heritage, Waccamaw and Poetry Salzburg Review. He is currently co-editing an anthology of contemporary writing from West Virginia for WVU Press and working on his second book of poems, tentatively titled, “No Dog Inside.”
Growing up in Elkins, West Virginia, Van Gundy was exposed to a wide range of music through the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College. He abandoned playing rock and roll in 1993 to study fiddle with the late Mose Coffman of Greenbrier County through the National Endowment for the Humanities folk arts apprenticeship program of the Augusta Heritage Center.
Since that time he has played throughout the northeast and upper Midwest with Dwight Diller, Melvin Wine, and in The Yahoes, with Paul Gartner and Pam Lund. Currently, he performs as a solo act and with Paul Gartner in the duo Born Old.
His playing is influenced by the Hammons Family and Central-West Virginia fiddlers Wilson Douglas, Ward Jarvis and French Carpenter, and focuses on the fiddle styles and repertoire particular to east-central West Virginia. He has taught through the Augusta Heritage Workshops on numerous occasions as well as at other workshops in New Hampshire, Michigan, Massachusetts, New York and Canada. Doug has two recordings currently available, Born Old with banjo player Paul Gartner, and Two Far Gone with fellow fiddler Jake Krack.
Doug’s fiddling can also be heard on albums by Dwight Diller, Peter Kosky and Glen Simpson. His music has also been featured on Swedish public television, a commercial for ABC-TV, the Outdoor Life Network, and The Crook & Chase Show on the Nashville Network. He has performed at The Kennedy Center, The Oldsongs Festival, Hostos Community College of NYU in The Bronx, The Appalachian String Band Festival at Clifftop, WV and The Calliope Emerging Legends Concert Series in Pittsburgh, PA, among others.
He and his wife Melissa live in Elkins, West Virginia.
The Hughes Lecture Series was begun in the 1970s by former WLU professor, Dr. Raymond Grove Hughes, a beloved teacher who joined West Liberty in 1931. Thanks to his endowment, the series has brought a wide range of speakers to the University, including: Dr. Ralph Abernathy, confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Eugene McCarthy, U. S. Senator and presidential candidate in 1968; and John Simon, noted film critic and West Virginia writer and NASA scientist Homer Hickam.
For more info contact Dr. Staffel at [email protected], or x8193.